New Delhi : The incorrigible Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Tuesday kicked up another controversy, saying that SP chieftain Mulayam Singh Yadav was not even fit to sweep the Prime Minister’s residence, drawing instant rebuke from the Congress.
“Yadav wants to become Prime Minister. He should first try to get the job of a sweeper at the residence of the PM,” 77-year Verma said at a programme in Faizabad. He prefaced his remark by alleging that the Samajwadi Party was a party anchored in “lies and fraud” and that it will be finished by the Congress.
The Congress party lost no time in washing its hands off Verma’s latest diatribe. The ruling UPA-2 coalition depends on the outside support of the SP for its survival in Parliament, and Verma has been a constant source of discomfort.
“He is a cabinet minister first, and the appropriate authority should take action against him if necessary,” said Congress spokesperson M Afzal while reacting to media reports on Verma’s salvo. Afzal has, thus, clearly hinted that it was for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to rein in the minister who had made a habit of making such outrageous statements.
“Verma’s statement, if true, is regrettable, and we do not approve of it. The party does not endorse such language,” added Afzal. The party is, however, not inclined to take any disciplinary action against Verma who is a backward leader from Uttar Pradesh and is seen as a counterfoil to the Yadav chieftain in state level politics.
Interestingly while attacking Yadav, Verma has always showered lavish praise on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi indicating that he has some kind of licence from the party. The last time Verma hit the headlines was when he accused the Congress of working as
a B-team of the Samajwadi Party and charged that they sold party tickets.
According to Afzal, the statement was also not approved by the party leadership and Verma had to explain matters to the party general secretary Madhusudan Mistry. But even after that meeting, clearly nothing has changed as within days Verma is back in action.